The Newburyport Police Department has operated a dive team since 1989. The team is regional with 4 officers from Newburyport and officers from the neighboring communities of Amesbury and Merrimac. The dive team is used for recovery and crime scene operations. Dive Team members receive initial training through PADI which includes certification in Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver and Rescue Diver.
Several team members are also Dive masters. Additionally they receive Public Safety Diver training through Dive Rescue International. This includes certifications in Ice Diving, Current Dive and Underwater Crime Scene Technician.
The dive team has been called on regularly since its inception. Calls range from recovering trucks that go a little too far down the boat ramp to searching for evidence, firearms, sunken boats and drowning victims. The Team trains monthly year round. Many of our dives are in the Merrimac River, dives range from 15 feet in depth near the docks to 60 plus feet at the mouth, day or night, winter or summer. The Dive Team works closely with the Newburyport Harbormaster and the United States Coast Guard transportation, dive platforms and area security during dive operations.
Police department dive team members include Sgt. Jason Kohan, Officer John Schmidt, Officer Charles Ferlauto and Officer Eric Andrukaitis. Members working with the dive team from the Newburyport Fire Department are Firefighters Josh Messina and Jason Lowry.